The ever rising cost of college textbooks is an issue with almost every university student. At the beginning of each semester, students have to spend hundreds to dollars to buy books. The question here is - Is there any way that students can buy cheap books?
A report by State Public Interest Research Groups in 2005 found that an average student spent around $900 every year on textbooks. The prices of books have risen since then.
One of the main reasons why college textbooks are so expensive is because they are overpriced. The main culprits for this are the publishers, who quote high prices. In fact, the US Department of Education's Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance admitted in 2007 that prices of college books were kept artificially high even though there was a huge demand from the buyers.
Market Controlled By Publishers
Today, the market of college books is controlled by suppliers. The publishers set the prices. Your college bookstore has no control. The publishers of college textbooks are in the habit of bringing new editions quite frequently. Most students hesitate to buy old editions fearing that they will miss out on something. In fact, many professors list a new edition in their book list every semester. Therefore, most students end up buying new books and thus pay more for college books.
Most textbooks are overpriced, because they come in packages, which might include CDs and other supplementary materials. Most students do not require these extras; however, they are forced to give more money because of these extras.
Most publishers do not do anything about the high cost of college textbooks. Why would they? College books are one of the most profitable sectors for the publishing industry.
Considering the fact that an average cost of a new textbook is around $53 (some books can cost as high as $200), what should a student do? There are several ways for a student to save on textbooks.
Saving On Books
Online books stores are...